The 25th anniversary of the Madden NFL franchise is upon us, with Madden NFL 25 set for an August 27th launch on both Xbox 360 and PS3.

Today fans can get their hands on a demo of the game which touches down on Xbox Live and the PlayStation Store and gives gamers a chance to try out some of the game’s new features.

“The big gameplay story of the year is really about the running game,” Creative Director Mike Young tells me. “We talked to a lot of running backs, and one of the things that we thought we could do was this kind of creativity as a ball carrier.”

The new “Run Free” system adds 30 new moves to the running game, and the ability to string moves together into combos.

“So a juke into a spin or a stiff-arm into a truck move,” Young says, which gives players an “arsenal to be creative on the field [...] using that change of pace between having burst on the right trigger and the precision modifier on the left trigger.”

Young also talks about the second iteration of the Infinity engine. Infinity introduced physics to last year’s Madden NFL 13. This time around, the developers have focused on fleshing out the details.

For instance, last year if you’d trip over someone you’d stumble, Young points out, “but now we’ve created a mechanic to allow you to try to keep your balance. Better running backs might turn that into an extra five or ten yards.” This sort of dynamic reaction plays out all across the field, including in the way the AI reacts to a given situation with what Young terms “contextual awareness.”